New York, NY (Top40 Charts)
The Red Black
& Blue (Vol. 1) EP is JC Brooks' follow-up to 2017's The Neon Jungle
and explores political and social themes surrounding being black in America
The music featured on the EP takes influence from the politically charged soul artists of the 70s, specifically Curtis Mayfield, Marvin Gaye and Gil Scott Heron. The JC Brooks Band conceptualized the theme of the EP in the van during an east coast tour while in a heavy discussion about political disdain, social justice and racial micro-aggressions. The scars of the social and political cautionary tale on Red Black
& Blue are layered on top of a bed of rich vocal harmonies, orchestrated horns and vintage keyboards, allowing JC to sing freely from his soul, which blasts through all the negativity.
& Blue includes "Anywhere But America
(Part 1)" as the first single and video. It is a breakup letter to someone who talks a good game but treats you like shit when it counts the most and then still has the nerve to expect unwavering gratitude. The choir and use of the B3 organ throughout the song, played by renowned recording artist Frank McComb, paints a backdrop of a tense funeral. The openness of the verses and thunderous reverb on the kick drum sends chills down the spine. JC cleverly entangles lyrical ideas from M.L.K's "I Have a Dream" speech with the Star Spangled Banner. Red, Black
& Blue is a witty, soulful, stirring expression of the ever-present ability of Black America
to spin its pain and frustration into gold.
JC Brooks contributed the majority of the lyrics for the EP but collaborated on specific songs with Chicago
front man and spoken word artist Avery R. Young. Brendan O'Connell of Chicago's The Right Now wrote the lyrics and composed the music for the funky "A Better Class of Thieves." JC Brooks Band percussionist JoVia Armstrong produced the EP and also composed the bulk of the music. Guitarist Isaiah
Sharkey (D'Angelo, John Mayer) produced the track "Anywhere But America
& Blue (Vol. 1) will be released digitally on Friday, April 13 and the JC Brooks Band will celebrate the release with a show at Chop Shop, 2033 W North Ave in Chicago, that evening at 9PM CST.